HARISH RAWAT’S MASS LUNCH DIPLOMACY
After having been defeated at the hustings in Uttarakhand’s legislative elections, himself losing both the seats from where he contested, just eight months ago and now in Delhi, most of the time, the usually mobile politician, 68 year old, the former Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Harish Rawat seems to be rather still active losing no opportunity to inaugurate or participate in any socio cultural or political programme of Uttarakhand where ever he is invited with usual charm and enthusiasm.
The way, even after losing badly at the hands of the BJP in Uttarakhand, Harish Rawat is still enthusiastically active in Delhi as well as in Uttarakhand losing no opportunity of participation in any gathering – social or political, it seems the septuagenerium leader is still prepared to play the next innings either as the state’s CM or is in a mood to enter parliament from Garhwal in 2019.It may be recalled that before becoming the state’s CM three years ago Rawat was the member of parliament from Haridwar. Just two days ago i. e. on 7th January Rawat called hundreds of Uttarakhandies from Delhi and UK at 18 Ferojshah Road, the resident of his protege, Rajya Sabha MP Mahara and obliged hundreds of the guest visitors with tasty Uttarakhand cuisines and delicacies.
He himself was seen having the taste of sugarcane in the public and thereafter having food with people thus giving an impression of a pro people leader. Considered to be a clever political manipulater and a mass leader even after losing so badly at the hustings in Uttarakhand, Harish Rawat lost no opportunity to invite every Uttarakhandi from Delhi and NCR across political spectrum including the mediamen and mixed with them for hours together, chatting, mixing, embracing, posing for group photographs and giving interviews to local channels.
People were found happily queuing for the delicious Uttarakhandi lunch and Gur ki kaali chai including himalayan fruit’s salad for hours. The get together and the lunch on session lasted for three hours with each and every pahadi living in Delhi and the NCR finally feeling utmostly satisfied and ecstatic. While such gatherings give an opportunity for one and all to meet friends and accquantainces after long intervals in city like Delhi and NCR, for politicians like Harish Rawat these are opportunities to re establish the broken links with the rank and file. It was not the first time that Rawat has thrown the lunch of Uttarakhndi cuisines for the UKites in Delhi but had been doing it earlier as well while he was the minister at the centre representing state labour and agricultural ministeries before becoming the state CM in 2015/16.
What was unusual about Harish Rawat’s lunch – on – session was that he hasn’t invited any Congressmen from Uttarakhand or Delhi in this congregation thinking perhaps, why would anybody else be given an opportunity to seek the credit for the lunch being served by him. Whatever, but he still needs to be complimented at least for the guts to manipulate and seek the Pravasies’s favourable confidence through such lunches of Uttarakhandi cuisines. After all this is a spirit. I wonder why has no other Uttarakhandi leader or MP has taken the courage to do so as Rawat has been doing for years in Delhi?
SUNIL NEGI, PRESIDENT, UTTARAKHAND JOURNALISTS FORUM